Kristiansand “Zoo”



Early Saturday morning we left Fredly (see my last post for a description of “the most idyllic place I know”) – Fredly actually means PeaceShelter… –

But yes, reluctantly we left my best friend´s place, because we had bought extremely expensive tickets to Kristiansand “Zoo” that day, including a play at 11 pm same night.
I call it “Zoo” because it is so much more than that. The park started out many years ago, as a zoo. But then they built Kardemomme by, “Cinnamon Town”, a famous town in Norwegian children´s litterature, written by Torbjørn Egner and turned into a sound theatre that every child has heard a million times, for generations now.
Very clever stuff, with a policeman who sings that “one shall not bother other people, but be nice and friendly, and apart from that one can do as one pleases…”
In the park, the whole town is built, and they play out scenes from the book there.

Later on, the zoo also incorporated Captain Sabretooth. The pirate captain has become somewhat a rite de passage to Norwegian children. They all see his plays on dvd, and they send by mail or give directly, their passifiers to the captain when they are big enough to let go of their passifier… in the park there is a special chamber for passifiers, there were thousands, it seemed! And then there stands his throne, and a sign on the wall says they should get their photo taken in his chair now that they no longer use a passifier…

The day we had tickets for, it rained. Miserably. Non stoppably. And ice cold-ly. I was wearing two layers of cotton, one layer of fleece, one layer of wool, a raincoat and a rain poncho. I was still cold.
But the children weren´t, luckily. So in we went, bought the ponchos and an umbrella, and new rubber boots for our youngest as we found out his old ones had a whole in them…
Then, in the next shop of all the very many shops, we found the selected pirate sword (there were 5-6 to choose from!) and pirate guns… and then the kids were ready to have a look at other things.


This ride was the highlight of my day, as there were dry seats on the train, haha…. No,that´s not the reason. The train brought us from scene to scene played out in the forest, and the actors were really good, and good singers too, which is needed because there are a lot of songs in the play, and every adult know them all by heart, having heard them hundreds of times before…

Here Klatremus (Climber-mouse) has tricked Mikkel Rev (Michael Fox) by climbing up to a tree to escape being eaten. And then he sings him a lullaby, and the fox falls asleep. Very intelligent mouse.


And in this scene, Bestemor Skogmus (Grandma Forestmouse) escapes being eaten by Petter Pinnsvin (Peter Hedgehog) by opening her umbrella and flying away with the wind! A quite spectacular sight, shame I didn´t catch it on video. (But actually, further down this post here, you can see the whole train ride on video, including her flight)! 🙂

She lands at the house of her grandson Morten ForestMouse. He tells her he thinks the animals should stop eating eachother and all be friends and help eachother instead. He is working on a new law, together with the Bear and the Moose, and he will present the law at a forest meeting in a few days.

The play is called Klatremus og de andre dyrene i Hakkebakkeskogen (“Climber-mouse and the other animals in Pecking Hill Forest”), and it is an admirable tale, where the philosophy behind democratic theory / humanism is presented in a way that everyone can understand and agree with.

The author behind these brilliant stories, is Torbjørn Egner, and us Norwegians are very proud of him.
He has also written the story about Karius and Baktus, the two trolls living in a boy´s teeth, digging holes in them as they build themselves nice houses. It has helped generations of Norwegian parents teach their kids why they should brush their teeth twice every day… 🙂

I found the old puppet movie made by Norwegian film maker Ivo Caprino, in this English speaking version:

Actually, here is the entire train ride through Hakkebakkeskogen as well !
That ride is a brand new attraction, of this year, so this is just directly filmed, no subtitles. But you get an impression, and all the brilliant melodies.

There is also a song about how much healthier it is to eat vegetables than meat!
Quite before his time, this Torbjørn Egner. 🙂
We only get a handful scenes on the ride, the highlight of the story is really how the fox and the mice co operate to save the Bears´ little son from the farmers who have kidnapped him and want to sell him to a circus!

Apart from the train ride, which took 40 nice and comfortable minutes, there were little rides here and there, little planes to fly in and such. I didn´t take many photos because of the constant rain and me holding an umbrella over my rucksack the whole freaking time…

But this ride with the cars, was a favourite. Alas, one had to be four, so our youngest was not allowed on it. But he accepted it with surprisingly little drama. His favourite passtime in the park, was meeting other little boys with Sabretooth swords, and to fence with them! Wish I had taken a photo of that…
And I would have liked to have bought him a hat and a coat as well, a sabretooth costume. But it would have cost me £70, and then you can time that with three, as my girls wanted female Cinnamon Town dresses as well…!

Here is the girls´ favourite ride that day. There were not many rides, but there was a handful wild ones for older kids as well. And many plays happening around the different areas of the park at set times…

Here they have driven their cars on board a ferry, which has sailed them 5 metres from Norway to Denmark, and they then drive ashore again. The ship has a huge Colorline logo on it. Product placement. But not a disturbing one. The real ships too have a Colorline logo on them. (Or Fjordline). I bet they give a nice sponsorship for that advertizing.



We arrived about 11 am, and about 14 we were so wet and frozen that we found one of the few restaurants that had proper walls, and sat at a table there for an hour or so, tanking up on bought drinks and brought food stuffs. To eat out all five of us, in a place like that… We had already paid 2.700 kroner for just the entrance tickets and two evening play tickets! (£270,-). Plus 1 sword, 2 guns and 1 boots. (£70).

Anyways. As we sat there, or actually were getting ready to go out into the rain again, we suddenly heard music and voices right outside! We hurried out, and caught the short Sabretooth daytime play. Very lucky!

First there was a scene with three of his crew members, and then he himself made his entrance, striding across the bridge onto the stage. You can see him in the back there, high up in the air, on the bridge…



Such a moment to all the children present. The moviestar. The very angry, authoritarian, immature and unfriendly Captain Sabretooth! (Why does he not hold some deeper values? Like solidarity, honesty…
I don´t understand why he must be so… unlikable really. But maybe that´s the whole idea?)

My two youngest were also smitten. Although they haven´t seen half as many dvds with him as Norwegian kids living in Norway do!


After the show, the actors came off stage and mingled with the children. (Not the captain himself, though. I guess keeping a distance is central to his image).
I appreciate their mingling with the kids a lot.

I noticed that all employees in the park were very attentive towards the children. It is obviously a conscious trade mark of the park. It really makes a noticable difference, and it allows the kids to go into their fantasy world better, when there are grown pirates singing the Sabretooth songs on board the Sabretooth pirate ship sailing people around a lake there etc…


After the play, the girls rode those cars again, and after that we went into a house in the zoo end, where there were birds and monkeys and snakes etc… and WARM.
Sadly it caused us to lose track of time, and we lost a play in Cinnaom Town. But.
I was sooooo coooooold maaaan….. !!

After that we walked around for a bit again, and my eldest girl got a straw hat and an umbrella, like Grandma ForestMouse had. And my youngest daughter got herself a bracelet. Oh there was so much nice stuff to buy! Linen with Climber-Mouse on it… cups and plates and wonderful children´s clothes with their heroes printed on it… I bought 3 drinking glasses… I hope they have a shop online, that I can visit once I´m wealthier than right now… (Luckily I have inherited two children´s Sabretooth t-shirts from a good friend years ago, as well as a Cinnamon Town shirt, so the kids were already dressed properly on arrival, hahaha…. saved me another hundred quid that…)

My husband asked if I wanted to go to the car and wait for them, as there was still an hour ´till closing time. I realized it was the best thing to do, and left.

They joined me an hour later, and brought me this photo! Hahahaha….
Now our youngest keeps saying over and over that he does not want to do that again!
But he is also eagerly telling us how fast it went downhill, and how wet they all got…
Good fun.
One can tell it went down a pretty steep hill, yeah…. :


We jumped in the car and drove off to find the Air-BnB we had booked. Linus-Ferdinand fell fast asleep in his raingear and pirate boots, clenching his sword…

sabeltann bilstol

My husband and our eldest daughter went and saw the play 11 pm, and had a great time with all the lights and loud sounds, the smoke, the skull´s dropping jaw on the real ship that sailed into the bay to the stage on the beach…
I was happy to stay in with the two littles, going to bed and getting warmed up again.

Next morning we packed and drove down to the ferry, that would take us back to Denmark.
On the harbour, Linus-Ferdinand kept watch out the sunroof.

sabeltann sunroof

Take me back home immediately, or else! Ship Ohooooiiiii !!!




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